Former Student Kills 7 in Shooting at California College

April 02, 2012

A former student opened fire at a small religious college in Oakland, Calif., on Monday morning, killing seven people and wounding three more in the deadliest American campus shooting since the Virginia Tech tragedy five years ago.

The gunman asked students in a classroom at Oikos University to line up against a wall and told them he was going to kill them, the brother of a student who escaped the classroom told Reuters. He drew a handgun and started shooting at the students, and then fired shots throughout the building, officials with the Oakland Police Department said.

The police identified the suspect as One L. Goh, a 43-year-old Korean national and a former Oikos student. Mr. Goh was arrested about an hour after the shooting when he drove to a grocery store and told employees there that he had shot people and needed to be arrested, the Oakland Tribune reported.

Authorities knew very little about the suspect and could not yet speculate on his motive, Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a news conference Monday evening.

Oikos University is a little-known, unaccredited institution housed in a single building in an East Oakland office park. It enrolls hundreds of students, officials said, catering mainly to Koreans and Korean-Americans.

The college was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2008 and brought in about $1-million in revenue in 2010, according to federal tax filings. It offers undergraduate- and graduate-level programs in music, theology, nursing, and other subjects.

Although Oikos is not accredited by a federally recognized accreditor, it did obtain approval last May from the State of California to offer its advertised degree programs, according to Russ Heimerich, a spokesman for the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

Oikos also has authorization from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help foreign students get visas for study here. It is unknown how much of its student body is made up of international students.

The founder and president of Oikos, Pastor Jongin Kim, told the Oakland Tribune that the suspect had previously been an Oikos nursing student, but that it was not clear why he had left the college. Mr. Kim said he was in his office when he heard about 30 gunshots.